North Florida Land Trust is working to save 15 acres of land along Egans Creek in Nassau County. NFLT has kicked off a fundraising campaign to preserve the land by securing a matching gift of $250,000 from an anonymous donor. The land is owned by the Nassau County School Board who planned to sell the land to a developer but need the City to vacate an easement before it can be sold. NFLT, in coordination with local citizens, proposed the land be used instead as an outdoor learning laboratory for students at the nearby middle and high school or as a public park with access to Egans Creek.
“We are enthusiastically engaged in an effort to preserve one of the last large parcels of natural land tracts on our lovely, graceful Amelia Island,” said the anonymous donor. “We envision this property to be utilized not only as an outdoor learning facility for the Fernandina Middle School and High School, but as a green space for the community to enjoy as they venture along the greenway.”
The 15 acres of land is located directly behind Fernandina Beach High School and borders Egans Creek Greenway. Several members of the Fernandina Beach City Commission had tried to convince the school board to accept NFLT’s proposal to preserve the land for an outdoor learning laboratory for students. The school board has been in talks to sell the land to a developer for a new residential subdivision.
“We hope the school board will reconsider and allow us to purchase the land on behalf of the city, who can in turn use it as a park or community green space,” said Jim McCarthy, president of NFLT. “We are asking citizens to donate so we can purchase the land from the school board. The land is an important environmental asset, which provides an access point to Egans Creek.”
Donations can be designated for the Fernandina Outdoor Learning Lab at www.northfloridalandtrust.org or by check with the designation in the memo line and sent to North Florida Land Trust, 2038 Gilmore Street, Jacksonville, FL 32204.
NFLT is encouraging citizens to contact their Nassau County School Board representative to ask them to preserve the land for future generations. Their contact information can be found at http://www.edline.net/pages/Nassau_County_School_District/School_Board/Board_Members.
About North Florida Land Trust
North Florida Land Trust is a non-profit organization who serves as a champion of land conservation primarily in Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, and St. Johns counties. NFLT was founded in 1999 and has protected thousands of acres of environmentally significant land including land at Big Talbot Island, the River Branch Preserve, Pumpkin Hill, Moccasin Slough, along the St. Mary’s River and other valued natural areas in Northeast Florida. NFLT is funded largely by private and corporate contributions and works closely with private landowners and other public agencies at all levels of government, not-for-profit partners, and foundations. For more information, visit www.northfloridalandtrust.org.